FCG Majors in High End, Pre-owned Furniture with a Minor in Psychology

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sun, July 15, 2018 @ 03: 03 PM


She was on a tear. Barreling through the showroom, she screeched to a halt in front of every chest of drawers, then yanked open and slammed shut every drawer. Clearly, she was in a fury and our poor furniture was taking the brunt of it.

Off to the side stood her teenage son, with tousled hair and a scruffy beard, feigning boredom. He yawned and studied his phone, pointedly ignoring the commotion his mother was making. His nonchalance seemed to infuriate her even more.

Hoping to defuse a potential explosion – and protect the furniture – I ventured over to the woman and discreetly paused nearby, trying to look helpful and sympathetic. She turned, blew her hair out of her eyes, and let out an exasperated sigh.

“He’s moving off campus,” she said. “He needs a dresser for his apartment.” Then, her voice got louder and her tone got sharper, apparently in an attempt to pierce his adolescent armor of phony deafness. “And,” she said threateningly, “he also needs to pick a damn major!”

Then, she hurled the final verbal spear at him. “I’m not paying for an extra year of college!”

He yawned again.

As the father of three boys, one of whom is starting college this fall, I watched the interaction with horror. Suddenly, I feared for my future. Five years of tuition payments?!? Per kid? That wasn’t part of the financial plan! I wanted to pummel the kid with pillows from a nearby couch. His indifference was maddening.

After a few minutes, I relaxed. Of all the choices we make in life, picking a major in college is one of the least consequential. I was an English major at the University of Kentucky. Now, I‘m the proud co-owner with my wife Diana of Furniture Consignment Gallery.

Even FCG has changed majors. Years ago, we majored strictly in traditional furniture. Now, we major in contemporary, mid-century, country and more. And our customers love the diverse selection.

I wanted to offer those tidbits of wisdom to the irate mom, but one look at her told me my comments probably wouldn’t cool her fury. But I did decide to have a talk with my college-bound son that night. Here’s what I’m planning to say: “Pick a major, kiddo, any major. You’ve got four years to study and have a good time – and not a minute more.”

Kids at Camp? That’s Freedom for Mom and Dad

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, July 07, 2018 @ 12: 02 PM


Here’s the packing list for our sons’ summer camp: swimsuit, washable sleeping bag, socks and underwear, beach towel, soap, shampoo, flashlight, toothbrush and tooth paste, teddy bear, pajamas, sunscreen, and stamps.

Not on the list: cellphone. In fact, it’s forbidden at camp. 

Personally, I‘d be thrilled to take a break from my cellphone, which rings, beeps and vibrates pretty much non-stop. But my kids think this ban on cellphones is an outrageous social injustice. No texting? No Snapchats? They have serious doubts they’ll survive the week. 

Meanwhile, Diana and I are crafting our list for week our boys are away: a case of wine, a night on the town, a harbor cruise, a walk on the beach, a peaceful bike ride, a good book for uninterrupted reading on the front porch. It sounds blissful. 

Don’t get me wrong. We love our boys, but we also love the freedom of that once-a-year vacation from parenting that we get when they’re away at camp. And after that weeklong respite, we actually enjoy their high-testosterone antics again – at least for a while. 

Our kids and your kids are always welcome at Furniture Consignment Gallery. You’ll even find a bowl of lollipops in each of our three stores and, every now and then, some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. So feel free to shop with the kids in tow. 

But if you, like us, have a kid-free week in your summer, have fun making your list of things to do while they’re away. And when the bottle of sunscreen runs dry, stop by one of our stores and wander around imagining the possibilities. A new dining table? A luxurious leather recliner? After all, when the kids are away, that’s when the adults can play.

Glory, Glory Hallelujah! A Teenager, Home Alone, Celebrates His Independence

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, June 30, 2018 @ 11: 17 AM


Diana and I have been looking forward to getting away for a few days with the boys over the 4th of July. Cade, our oldest son and a soon-to-be college freshman, apparently has been hatching other plans. 

“If you wouldn’t mind,” he said with studied nonchalance the other night. “I’d like to catch up with you guys in a few days … drive out there myself. I’ve got a few things to do around here ….”

Yikes! Is he suggesting we leave him home alone?

Suddenly, I had a flashback to the summer before I left for college. I remember making the same plea of my parents. Like my son, I was eager for a taste of freedom. I can’t fully divulge the crazy schemes I hoped to indulge that long-ago summer because, well, my mom reads my blog. (Hi, Mom!) But I’m quite sure my son is thinking along the same lines. 

We all yearn for independence. As Americans, it is our birthright. And, as the proudly independent owners of Furniture Consignment Gallery, Diana and I celebrate our freedom to own and manage and grow our small business. 

Some folks argue that the American Dream doesn’t exist anymore. We disagree. We’re living the dream every day at FCG. We are proud to have the opportunity to work hard building our business, providing great customer service and bringing you the best furniture bargains in New England. 

So, in recognition of the holiday when we celebrate our nation’s independence, we want to thank all of you for supporting us in our efforts. Let freedom ring! And, Cade, I’ll talk to your mom and get back to you on that.

The World Cup: A Global Party We’d Love to Crash

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sun, June 24, 2018 @ 09: 09 AM


Two Venezuelan gentlemen stopped by our showroom this week to discuss consigning a dining table. I asked who they were backing in the World Cup, expecting them to say their neighbor Argentina. “No,” they corrected me emphatically. “We root for Spain.” Later, I bumped into a Korean man who was monitoring the action on his smartphone while his wife was browsing. “Germany,” he said, frowning, “Lost to Mexico! Very disappointing!” 

The World Cup is in full swing this week in Moscow, and millions are riveted by the action. We Americans weren’t invited to the party; Team USA didn’t make the cut. (Neither did the Netherlands or Italy, which, for Italians, was an omen of Armageddon.) Still, along with lots of our customers, I’m finding the games thrilling. 

Sure, soccer is mostly a second-class sport in the U.S. We feast on baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. Sometimes, we’ll even take a gander at golf. But soccer? That’s been a game for the rest of the world. 

But I have to admit: I’ve gotten hooked on the World Cup. Part of the attraction, I think, is the intensity of fans’ loyalty to their teams. I love when the cameras cut away from the game in Moscow to show fans watching a televised game back home in Peru or Brazil, erupting in joy over a goal or agonizing over a missed shot. 

No wonder they call soccer “the beautiful game.” Seeing the passion that millions have for this global game is awe-inspiring. 

World Cup fans, you’ll get a warm welcome this weekend from us at FCG. Whether you’re rooting for Peru or crying for Argentina, we’re with you. You’re cheering for tiny Iceland? Go for it! Who cares if Team USA wasn’t invited to Moscow? This party is too much fun not to crash.

Furniture Trends Are Spinning Faster than a Maytag, but Not at FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Mon, June 18, 2018 @ 10: 24 AM


Remember shoulder pads in the 1980s? Women looked like they had a dog bed sitting on each shoulder. Men make fashion mistakes, too. The early 2000s gave us young men waddling around in public with their pants belted around their thighs, underwear on full display.  

Fashion faux pas are a common hazard, but at least they’re fleeting. Too bad I can’t say the same about furniture faux pas. 

Ethan Allen recently introduced a new line of furniture this spring, which it calls “uptown chic.” Well, it is neither. Check out the Evansview dining table, a slab of wood sitting on top of a gold-colored metal contraption. It looks something rejected from a fake-future warehouse in Hollywood. 

Someone will offer us one of those tables on consignment in about five years. That’s typically how it works at FCG. Sometimes, we’ll get new or nearly new furniture to consign, but most of the time there’s a five-year lag. Not surprisingly, Ethan Allen is one of FCG's top selling brands, but their new line won't be able to earn a slot on our showroom floor.

Why? It’s not classic – nor is it good design. And that’s what you’ll always find at FCG: the highest-quality furniture in just about every style category on the market. Traditional? Check. Mid-century modern? Yes. Farmhouse casual? Of course.

But we’re choosy about what we allow in our showrooms at FCG. We don’t chase trends. We choose carefully what we accept for consignment. That means you get to shop a showroom filled with only the the best and most classic pieces in every style.  

Stop by one of our stores this weekend. You’ll find a vast variety of high-quality furniture classics at bargain prices. No faux pas, I promise.

Our Most Popular Promotion is Back! Pick-a-Winnah!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, June 09, 2018 @ 08: 33 AM


It’s back! 

Last year’s promotion, “Pick-a-Winnah,” was such a hit that we’re going to run it again all weekend at Furniture Consignment Gallery. 

Have you forgotten how it works? Here’s a quick primer: Stop into any of our three showrooms, find an item you want to buy, and take the tag to the register. That’s where you get to pick-a winnah. 

At FCG, you’re guaranteed to win unlike that bet you may have put on this weekend’s Preakness. At the register, you’ll reach into a box and select a ping pong ball. On it will be written 5%, 10% or 15%, which we’ll immediately take off your purchase. 

Like all promotions, we have some rules. You only get one pick. And you can’t combine your discount with any other promotional offer. If you like the amount of your discount, keep on shopping! Once you leave the store, though, your discount is invalid. 

What exactly does that mean? Well, it means you can’t come back the next day to use your discount on a shopping spree. You don’t get to go home, take a nap, hear instructions from a heavenly choir, and hurry back to buy that buttery leather chair for an amazing price. The discount is only good while you are in our stores.

You can use the discount to buy a new mattress, a pair of lamps, a new dining table, a bedroom set or a sectional for the living room. You can use it to buy something small, like our popular Dixie Belle chalk paint. Or you can splurge on a whole-house makeover. 

But, for goodness sake, use it to buy something! Come to FCG and Pick-A-Winna and take a fine piece of furniture home with you today. This promotion ends at the close of business on Sunday.

*In-store only. Phone order discount is 5%. Discount applies at time of sale, to total sale. Can only be used once per visit. Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Cannot be used on prior purchases. Sale ends Sunday June 10, 2018.

Open the Door! Advice for the Class of 2018

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, June 02, 2018 @ 08: 26 AM


“Get out of the car now,” I said. “Or I’m going in there.”

My son Cade, 14, was slumped against the car door with a look of panic on his face. He was a high school freshman at the time and he had signed up for wrestling. But when I pulled up in front of the school for the first day of practice, he was suddenly paralyzed by anxiety. He’d never wrestled before. And, to be truthful, I would have been scared, too. But he wasn’t budging.

“Okay”, I said. “I’ll go tell the coach that you changed your mind.”

Holding my breath, I stepped out of the car and started a slow walk to the gym, hoping I would hear his door open behind me. I was one step away when I heard him call out: “Wait!” Cade walked past me and into the gym without saying a word. I exhaled, offered a silent thanks, then sat in the parking lot for a few minutes to calm myself.

When Cade came home that afternoon, he said practice was good. He went back the next day, and the next. He wrestled all four years of high school. Every practice and every match was difficult, but none as difficult as the decision to walk into the gym that first day. In the beginning, Cade got crushed by more seasoned wrestlers. But he learned new skills and eventually became a strong competitor. 

Tonight, Cade and many other seniors across the country will receive their high school diplomas. We, their parents, will pause to reflect on and celebrate their achievements. When Cade crosses the stage to get his diploma, I’ll be thinking about his first day of practice. He got out of the car. He stepped into the ring. He accomplished a lot. 

In a few months, there will be moments of anxiety when the car pulls up in front of his college dorm. I’m sure that decision four years ago will buoy his confidence. None of us – not even him – knows where his journey will take him. But he’s already learned a vital lesson: he has the courage to open the door.

Congratulations, Cade and the Class of 2018.

Real Estate Market in Boston and Suburbs is Hot, Hot, Hot!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, May 26, 2018 @ 12: 07 PM


“I offered $30,000 over the asking price – and I still didn’t get the house,” one of the younger men in my weekly basketball league confided. He’s been trying to buy his first home for six months in a market so hot it is dizzying. Another guy on the team piped up to say he had three offers from buyers within hours after listing his house. The winning bid was $50,000 over his asking price.

Boston and its suburbs are on fire this spring. The inventory of homes is low and interest rates are rising. As a result, frantic buyers are driving up prices in bidding wars that are delighting sellers and frustrating buyers.

Whether you are buying or selling, you’re probably experiencing whiplash from the changes in the market. Here are a couple of tips to help steady your nerves: 

  • Buyers can’t afford to be fussy about the little things. Chili-pepper red paint in the family room a little hot for your taste? Foil wallpaper from the 1970s in the master bath? He or she who hesitates is lost in this market. Or stuck paying rent for another year.
  • Sellers used to fuss over staging to romance buyers. Orchids in the bath and green applies in the kitchen were de rigueur. Now, buyers aren’t staging to sell. They’re staging to start a bidding war.
  • Traditional timelines are getting squeezed. In slower markets, both buyer and seller typically had three months before closing. Now, both sides want a speedier end to the deal. Pack your bags – you’re moving sooner than you thought.
  • With fewer choices in this frenzied market, new homeowners have to be more flexible about furnishings. Your leather sectional may not fit the new house. Or the circular glass dining table that looked great in your loft may not work in the suburban colonial.

So add another item to your to-do list: a trip to FCG. Whether you are buying or selling, FCG is here to help. We’ve got a bountiful inventory of furniture for the new homeowner. And we’ve got speedy, reliable, white-glove service for those who want to consign. Call us or stop by our stores today.

The End of the American Family Room? It’s Possible

Posted by Jay Frucci on Mon, May 21, 2018 @ 10: 20 AM


“No! Turn it off!” Diana cried out, gesturing at the television in the family room. “I can’t watch that episode – I’m too far behind!”

The television had been set to the news while we were cleaning up after dinner, but now it was time for Grey’s Anatomy. The cameras pan over a night scene of Seattle, while the voice of one of the main characters earnestly offers a corny life lesson. Like millions of viewers, my wife is hooked on the medical drama. 

Diana dove for the remote to turn off the television. “I’m two episodes behind,” she said a bit defensively. “I don’t want to jump ahead of the story.” She knows I’m not a fan. To me, the show is an endless loop of natural disasters and man-made catastrophes. All the wounds are ghastly, the doctors are miserable and no one ever cracks a joke. It’s a yawner. 

What’s intriguing, though, is the concept of how we consume our entertainment these days. Diana doesn’t sit down to watch Grey’s Anatomy on the big flat-screen television in the family room – ever. She streams the show on her laptop while she’s doing mundane chores like folding the laundry.

Our three boys, on the other hand, get their media from mobile phones. They’ll only use the flat screen to play video games. As for me, I look forward to stretching out in the recliner to watch some basketball on the flat screen. But I’m also a bit of a Luddite. I’m the only guy in the neighborhood who still gets a newspaper delivered every morning. 

So what's happening to the family room? Conceived in the 1950s, when television first invaded the home, the family room was designed so a family had a casual place to congregate to watch television and play games. The focus of the room was a television, the bigger the better. 

Now we’re watching shows and playing games on hand-held devices while on the go. So it’s a valid question: is there any future for the family room? 

Interestingly, folks have been asking us that very question about the dining room for the last decade especially as seating at kitchen islands expanded. But, ironically, dining room sets continue to be a top seller for FCG. Maybe the formal dining room will actually outlive the family room. Unlike Grey’s Anatomy, the plot thickens. Stay tuned as we'll keep you posted on all the latest trends in furniture and design. And, at FCG, you can find comfortable seating for all of the corners of your home where you secretly binge watch your favorite show. 

Rite of Passage: A Nine-Year-Old Boy Buys a Card for Mother’s Day

Posted by Jay Frucci on Mon, May 14, 2018 @ 10: 07 AM


Robbie and I side-stepped in unison with all the other guys lined up in front of the greeting cards at CVS. It was as quiet as a library. All of us were pulling cards from the rack, reading a line or two then putting them back carefully. After we’d all examined all the cards within reach, we’d all shuffle sideways and start over with a new batch. 

Every now and then, a guy would heave a sigh of relief and peel off to buy his card leaving the rest of us behind feeling increasingly anxious. Did he get the last card in the shape of a birdhouse? Was the supply of pink ribbons diminishing? What if we had nothing left but cards featuring Garfield, the fat orange cartoon cat? 

That’s when the silence was broken with the loud, offensive sound of flatulence. It was Robbie, my nine-year-old son. He’d grabbed a card and opened it, triggering the explosive noise. All the other guys at the rack were startled. They frowned at the intrusion. 

But Robbie was beaming. “Dad!” he said waving the card triumphantly. “I’ve got to get this! Mom will love it!” 

The inscription inside: “From your little stinker.” 

It was $6. I bought it anyway. It’s worth every penny. His mom will love it – and it’ll provide hours of entertainment for all three boys. 

Cynics deride Mother’s Day as a scam designed to enrich card companies and chocolatiers. Even the woman who invented the holiday had mixed feelings about it. Anna Jarvis was a strong-willed spinster who spent a decade on an obsessive quest to create a holiday to honor her mother – and, indeed, all mothers. 

She wrote thousands of letters to politicians and gave speeches all over the U.S. Her quest was relentless. Finally, in 1914, Congress declared the second Sunday of May to be Mother’s Day. 

Jarvis, a bit of an odd duck, quickly soured on the idea, annoyed at the way her holiday was being commercialized. In a letter to a newspaper, she accused “charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and other termites” of greed in profiting from the celebration. (Miss Jarvis would be even more horrified today if she got a glimpse of those all-you-can-eat Mother’s Day Buffets.) 

But I think she had the right idea. I wouldn’t be the man that I am without my wife and my mom. Thank you, Anna Jarvis, for giving us a day to honor the women who support us and love us. Even if that does mean there’s a market for flatulent cards.